Oakland Raiders fans living in California found out Monday that their beloved team is leaving for Las Vegas - but only once a jaw-dropping new stadium is built, making for an awkward multiple-year transition phase.
On Tuesday's episode of Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe, Cris Carter and Skip Bayless reacted to the Raiders' move.
Why didn't the Raiders go to Las Vegas immediately?
“I’m shocked that they didn’t go the route that the Rams went, to leave St. Louis and come to [Los Angeles] and play in the college stadium, even though it can be a pro stadium, until their stadium is built.
I love the route that the Chargers took, because they’re going to play in a 30,000-seat venue in Carson [California], it’s a soccer stadium, for a couple years, whatever it takes.
And I can’t figure out why Al Davis’ son, the man in question here, didn’t just say ‘hey, we’ll go on to Las Vegas right now and we’ll play in UNLV’s stadium.’ It holds 42,000, they have a college bowl game every year. Why not just go do that?
Why not avoid the agony that you’re going to put these Raider fans though for the next maybe three years it’s going to take to build that stadium in Las Vegas?”
Kirby LeeKirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Raiders are now begging fans to support a lame-duck team
“So, my question is, you’ve said ‘we’re a lame-duck team playing in thecoliseum in Oakland, and I still want you to buy tickets even though I’ve sold out on you. I’ve sold out for the money because we were the lowest revenue producing team in the NFL. So I sold out on you, but I still need you to buy tickets and come support your team in your old stadium under the old conditions, and it’s still a really good team.’
And it is a good team. If I know fans, it’s going to hurt them. It’s going to tear their hearts out, their guts out, but in the end if this team continues on its rise - it’s eighth in the Las Vegas Super Bowl odds right now, 20/1 -if they have a year like last year, if going to assume these people will keep gritting their teeth and going back to the coliseum and sitting in the black hole. But I do feel really, deeply sorry for the way they just got treated.”
Isaiah J. DowningIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
This is a terrible situation for fans
“This is terrible, this is terrible. I played when they were in L.A. also and then went back to Oakland. ’95 was the first year they were in Oakland. This is terrible, Skip. This is like two parents with kids. One of them says to the other ‘I’m going to divorce you in three years. Now I might be willing to give you an extension for another year, but you know this is going to happen.’
That’s what the Raiders are saying. ‘We are leaving, we’re going to Vegas. You know we’re going to Vegas.’ But let me tell you what the owners love. Owners… they don’t really agree on a lot, but when it comes to making money, 31-1.”
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Owners will gladly uproot a franchise if it makes them money
“Now we’ve had three teams to leave in the last year. The Rams left St. Louis, the Chargers left San Diego, and now the Raiders are leaving Oakland. That’s generated 1.625 to 1.650 billion dollars for the owners. That means each owner got $50 million to stuff in their pocket on top of the quarter of the billion the networks paid to broadcast their games.
They haven’t sold any concessions. They haven’t sold any tickets to their games. No sponsorships to theirs. That’s what they’ve gotten over the last year, $300 million. But what the people of Oakland are saying is ‘we’re not giving you a dime of our money. We’re tired of our roads being dilapidated, we’re tired of out public schools being short-changed. You’re a billionaire, build your own stadium.’”
Jerome MironJerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Owners don't care about the fans
“They didn’t have a choice, they had to leave. If you look at it… what were their choices? Stay in Oakland, go to Vegas, or try to re-ignite the deal in Los Angeles.
Now, we’re living in Los Angeles, and you guys can [attest], this is not the football capital of the world. They say they have an appetite for football, they’ve got two teams. The fans would say they’d support them, but based on overall revenue and ticket sales, they don’t support the team. So they are not in love with football.
… Nobody cares about the fans, let’s be real. That’s what the owners decided yesterday. And Mark [Davis] had no choice. He don’t have the financial wherewithal, he really don’t. He’s in the right position, he’s the managing partner, but he just went from the bottom in revenue, as you said Skip, to immediately right in the middle of the pack, and a chance to be a top-10 team as far as revenue.”
Ron ChenoyRon Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Raiders can at least win games in the meantime before the move
“So the difference in this relocation to other relocations is this football team is really good. They’ve got a belief in the team, in the talent, and they’ve got a quarterback - a face of the franchise - and they’ve got a good coach in Jack Del Rio. So I believe that the stability of the front office, the head coach, the quarterback, and the talent that they’ve assembled will help them with this transition.
They’re going to put a good product on the field, so the people aren’t going to have to abort the product like some of the other teams that we’ve seen where it’s suffered on the field. They are vying for a championship in Oakland.”